The Barbados Association of Journalists and Media Workers (BARJAM) has issued a stern warning to Prime Minister Mia Mottley and other Government officials not to try to dictate news coverage.
BARJAM President Emmanuel Joseph made the comments while addressing the awards ceremony for media workers on Sunday night at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
In a stern tone, Joseph said, “BARJAM has no confidence in any suggestion that would like to take us back to the dark days when dissent against the establishment or ruling classes was tantamount to a crime and was met with the most vicious push back that at times ended in death for the dissenter.”
The veteran journalist underscored that the Constitution not only guarantees freedom of speech but also provides for the Office of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, hence dissent, alternate voice, opinions, positions are sanctioned by the Constitution.
“The media cannot, therefore, be part of any suggestion by the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, trade union leaders, business leaders, church leaders, civil society leaders or even the ordinary man in the street to usurp its role as the eyes, the ears and the voice of the people. For the media to embark on a censorship drive to facilitate some voices and silence others – while it may be politically or economically expedient for some – it stinks,” he stressed.